Review: A Grief Observed

Helen Joy Davidman was an American poet who moved to England after divorcing her first husband, William Gresham. Once an atheist, Joy converted to Christianity and was soon married to the author and famous apologist, Clive Staples Lewis. Even as they were married in 1956, the couple knew of Joy’s diagnosed bone carcinoma. In 1960, […]

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Review: Ender’s Game

Orson Scott Card is a great great grandson of Brigham Young, and understandably a devout Mormon. However, in his novel, Ender’s Game, Card exposes precious little about his religious convictions in direct quotation. Instead, his characters primarily voice the humanist and naturalist philosophies commonly supported by the science fiction genre. Card only hints or alludes […]

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Things Fall Apart

Certainly, all human choice can be traced back to customs or social conditioning. A man is merely the product of his culture. Therefore, superior conditioning will unarguably produce a superior human product. This has been a prominent Western perspective. Many believe government, religion, and other systems of conditioning will evolve and progress over time to […]

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The Road – Theme Analysis

In Cormac McCarthy’s bleak, unmarked wasteland, a man and his son determinedly troop along an abandoned highway, resisting death. Miraculously, they endure hopelessness together. The man comforts his son, guiding him down the uncertain path of survival towards beacons of hope. He lives for the boy, whose life drives him to preserve his own life. […]

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Review: Life of Pi

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I remember watching Life of Pi on DVD and feeling confused, indifferent to the characters, and outraged by the plot. An arrogant Indian boy named “pissing” almost drowns in a ridiculously brutal ocean storm, but ends up surviving for many uneventful days on a lifeboat with zoo animals? Come on! Then the movie’s conclusion changed […]

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Review: The Road

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The Road is not an easy book to dive into. Cormac McCarthy’s sparse narrative lacks the pace to hook me in the first couple of pages. The first 50 are filled with repeated observations of the bleak, ashy, apocalyptic setting in which “man” and “boy” aimlessly survive. Neither character seems very invested in their daily […]

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Review: Island

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Island is a thoroughly challenging book. From the first page, Aldous Huxley’s complex diction and intelligently illusive opinions are like steam engines plowing through my consciousness. His brute force is not only limited to internal dialogue or reflection, nor is it softened by allegory. He confronts me on every page in the characters’ conversations, and […]

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Fahrenheit 451 Response

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I have not been educated by “the world,” but by a community of conservative Lutherans. Therefore, my struggle is one less blatantly engaged with the animal perversions of American materialism and consumerism depicted in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. My ears are trained electric fences, charged to repel psychological advertising, and my eyes are fixed forward […]

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Review: The Lathe of Heaven (part 2)

As a Christian reader grounded in concrete Western Theology, I hesitate to fully digest the nebulous language that emerges from Ursula Le Guin’s Eastern Mystical philosophy in her novel, The Lathe of Heaven. I can appreciate figurative personification as art when she explains, ‘rocks have their dreams and the earth changes,” but naturally I question spiritual […]

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Review: The Lathe of Heaven

Ursula Le Guin captures my interest with powerful, original, and unobtrusive figurative language.  She makes allusions to sci-fi dystopian novels Brave New World and 1984, and even names her main character George Orr. Similes and metaphors are poetically precise, such as when she compares Orr to a ‘red, blind, and wet…newborn baby’ after he dunks […]

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